John R. Starr, Inc., a management consulting firm specializing in nonwoven products, hygiene absorbent products and related fields worldwide, has released the second in a series of studies that provides comprehensive information on spunbonded polypropylene manufacturing costs and capacities through 2012 in key regional markets.
Titled, “Spunbonded Polypropylene World Capacities and Manufacturing Economics 2007, 2008-2012,” the report provides detailed information on capacity by producer, country, line and technology and beam configuration and compares regional and global supply to demand. The report is of value to companies at all levels of the spunbonded polypropylene value chain to allow them to enhance their understanding of capacities, comparative producer costs and regional and global supply/demand.
World capacity for spunbonded polypropylene nonwovens in 2008 is estimated to be 2.2 million tons. Several major factors have influenced producer profitability around the world, including rising raw materials costs, supply/demand imbalances, increasing use of modern, low-cost technology, emergence of new global and regional producers, shifts in merchant market versus captive demand, producer consolidation and restructuring.
According to the report, the industry is made up of more than 90 producers who, in 2008, operate approximately 280 production lines. “Many spunbonded polypropylene producers struggle with profitability while others are performing well despite historically high raw material costs,” the study outlines. “In some regions, capacity rationalization has, and will continue to occur, as new technology is commissioned. Modern, high output lines have been, and will continue to be, installed which will take share from older, less productive units placing increased pressure on existing producers operating older technology to remain cost-competitive.”
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